Some Seem to think that Capitalism is About Buying and Selling Things Using the market as a way of Distributing good from the folks who Produce it to the folks who Consume it Markets Are indeed an Important Phenomenon but They don’t have Any Unique Relationship With Capitalism for example in the American slave South a different system, a slave system The Goods produced by slaves, sample cotton, were Sold So you, had a Market in Cotton They actually had a market in Slaves too, so things were bought and sold all. The markets existed but you didn’t have capitalism You Didn’t Have an Employer and an Employee That’s the Core of Capitalism Slavery is a Different System it’s a Master and a Slave. The Master doesn’t hire the slave. There’s no need, the Master owns the Slave. And Capitalism The Employer doesn’t own you. May feel like that, occasionally, but he doesn’t legally own you. In Feudalism it’s yet again different it’s a lord and a serf. A serf who plan belongs on the land Has obligations to the Lord but the Lord doesn’t hire the serf, doesn’t pay them a wage, but there were Markets in serf. The unique thing about Capitalism is not therefore a market, The unique thing about Capitalism is the Relationship in Production in how Goods and Services are produced it’s a relationship that is not Master-Slave, that is not Lord-Serf, it is a very particular Arrangement Employer-Employee and in that relationship lies a Fundamental Conflict Tension Anger Resentment. Why? Because some people are doing all the work and producing more than they get. A more that we nowadays call the surplus, the extra. And if you’re a Capitalist, an Employer, what of course is your interest? To give the worker the least possible While Giving the most out of them because that’s the biggest surplus they can get and the more surplus they have the more secure they’ll be In Capitalism it turns out we’ve got exactly the same kind of system as we had in slavery and feudalism.
Why? Because the worker has to produce
more a surplus than he gets Just as the Master got the surplus per Slave produced or the Feudal lords got the surplus that this Serf produced It’s nobody’s fault. It’s the way that System is set up What’s the Alternative? When the People who Produce the surplus. The Workers Are Themselves the People who get the Surplus If all the workers together make a cooperative, then they aren’t split between the employers and the employees But both positions are occupied by every person in the office There is no Split How would that work? Take any factory. Take any office Take any store Change it as follow no more board of Directors Don’t need it. Here’s how we’re going to do. You come to work you sit around making the decisions All the decisions that used to be made by the Capitalism Workers become their own board of directors or to say the same thing another way the Worker Capitalist Division resolves If you made all the workers democratically get together and decide how to distribute the wealth they’ve all together created They would never give a handful of people more money than they know what to do with, while everybody else is worrying about sending their kids to college because they can’t afford it When you’re discussing the new Technology that might pollute the air or the water. The decision is made by the major shareholders and the board of directors, a tiny group of people who typically live in gated communities in a lovely leafy residence far away from the factory or the office or the store that pollutes, so they can make the investment in the new Technology and reap the profits if the workers who live and work and depend on the enterprise made the decisions. They, wouldn’t do it that often because They’re the ones that breathe the air and drink the water, so they’d be much more sensitive to the real course Every technological invention justified itself on the grounds that by this new machine, we could get more done with less effort but when those innovations are put into a capitalist economic system, the people who put the Technology in want to make profit out of it, for example if a machine allows the workers to do twice as much as before, they fire half of the workforce. The remaining half works with the new Machine produces as much as before. The company realizes a fantastic profit because it doesn’t have to pay half the workers wages which they can keep for themselves Here’s an Alternative: let every worker do half as much work as he or she did before Let’s run the working day four hours instead of eight. The workers will have engaged an enormous amount of leisure to pay attention to their own development, to their families, to their communities, if we use technology that way. We would use it to help the mass of people enjoy a better life, rather than a small percentage of the people enjoy a greater profit. The problem was with Technology. The problem was with the System that decides how to use that Technology? You’re going to have to get rid of the Capitalist system where it lives. In the stores, the factories and the offices